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Genre Supernatural drama
Created by Johnny Capps[1]
Julian Murphy[1]
Written by Peter Tabern[2]
Howard Overman[2]
Lucy Watkins[2]
Starring Philip Glenister
Christian Cooke
Holliday Grainger
Zoe Tapper
Opening theme Starlight Mints - Eyes of the Night
Composer(s) Jack C Arnold
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Running time 44 mins (exc. adverts)
Production company(s) Shine Productions
Original channel ITV
Picture format HDTV (1080i)
Audio format Dolby Digital
Original run 3 January 2009 –
7 February 2009
External links
Official website

Demons is a British six-part supernatural television drama series produced by Shine Productions, which premièred on ITV on 3 January 2009.[3] It was produced by the same company that made the Sky1 supernatural drama Hex and the BBC One fantasy series Merlin. The DVD of the one series made was released on 6 April 2009.



The plot follows the adventures of a London teenager Luke Rutherford, who learns that he is the last descendant of the Van Helsing line by the sudden arrival of his American godfather Rupert Galvin. Luke is charged with the role of smiting the gathering dark forces of the world whilst trying to live an ordinary life of exams and parties.[4] Rupert Galvin helps train Luke with the assistance of Mina Harker, a blind vampiric concert pianist and authority on half-lives (i.e., vampires, demons, zombies, and werewolves). Luke's best friend Ruby also joins in on the action.[5]


  • Philip Glenister as Rupert Galvin: An American Demon hunter with a sarcastic sense of humour. He is Luke's godfather and was a close friend of Luke's late father whose death it has been implied he was partly responsible for. Rupert appears ruthless and sometimes cold-blooded as he is driven by a fanatical hatred of demons because one of them murdered his wife but he is a warm-hearted individual who cares about his friends and looks on Luke as a son. He also has a tendency to drink too much to drown his sorrows
  • Christian Cooke as Luke Rutherford: The protagonist, Luke is a student who is nearing graduation when he meets his godfather, Rupert Galvin who informs Luke that he is a descendant of Van Helsing and it is his destiny to save the world from demons. Due to this bloodline he is unnaturally skilled at martial arts with above average speed and strength. Luke is reluctant to fight the demons but does so anyway, feeling that it is his duty though he often complains that he would rather be attending social functions with his friends. Luke appears to have a nihilistic outlook on life but cares greatly about his best friend Ruby though he sometimes appears indifferent toward her.[6]
  • Holliday Grainger as Ruby: Ruby has been Luke's best friend since they were children and is quite protective of him. She is also in love with him though she is afraid to admit this. She has a rivalry with Mina and insists on accompanying the group in fighting demons and her intelligence and resourcefulness often prove a great help to Luke, Rupert and Mina though they often overlook her and she sometimes questions her importance to them.
  • Zoe Tapper as Mina Harker: A beautiful but haughty and arrogant blind woman who has fought Half-Lives with Rupert and Luke's father in the past. She is the same Mina Harker who appears in Bram Stoker's Dracula and has lived for centuries on account of being a vampire however she curbs her vampiric tendencies through dialysis. She treats Ruby like an annoying child and has a psychometric sixth sense that allows her to touch objects and see their history.
  • Saskia Wickham as Jenny Rutherford: Luke's mother who fears that he is becoming like his father: vague and always disappearing without telling her why.

Notable demons

  • Gladiolus Thrip (Mackenzie Crook): A preening, narcissistic and ruthless hit-man, Thrip is a Type 12 entity, the most powerful type of demon there is. He has a cockney accent and speaks in a very pompous, verbose manner. He possesses superhuman speed and strength and is immune to most forms of attack. Nevertheless he possesses an arrogant belief in his invincibility which leads to his apparent destruction at the hands of Luke in the first episode. Thrip had no nose and wore an ivory beak in its place which survived the apparent destruction of his body. He later returns in the final episode, working to drive Luke and Galvin apart; however he is ultimately slain by Mina, who awakens her vampiric nature by drinking a vial of her own blood. Thanks to her vampiric sense, Mina realises that Thrip is a vampire (explaining why he did not die previously and why he was so difficult to kill). She later tears out his throat, as the only one who can kill a vampire is another vampire, causing his body to liquefy. Thrip's superhuman speed was a hint to his true nature, as vampires bear the same kind of superhuman speed as seen in 'Suckers'.
  • Gilgamel (Rick English): An ancient and powerful demon with an affinity for graveyards and churches, Gilgamel is a Travesty, a demon that can impersonate an angel. He feeds on the lifeforce of children who become his slaves after he devours their souls and help lure others into Gilgamel's clutches. While hunting for fresh victims, he appears as an ethereal white light; however his true form is that of a hideous, gargoyle-like demon, complete with cloven hooves, taloned wings and a skull resembling a Romanesque helmet. Luke easily dispatches him with a sword belonging to St Anselm (who had previously tried- and failed- to kill Gilgamel).
  • Mister Tibbs (Kevin McNally): A psychopathic genius, part man, part rat. Mister Tibbs is the demon responsible for the death of Rupert Galvin's wife and so Rupert hates him most of all demons and will stop at nothing to kill him. Tibbs however doesn't appear to be remotely afraid of Galvin and enjoys taunting him over the death of his wife.
  • Quincey (Ciarán McMenamin): A power-hungry vampire and the son of Mina and her husband Jonathan, Quincey views humans as an inferior species and thus believes that vampires are perfectly justified in hunting and killing them, viewing it as no more evil than humans killing and eating chickens. He wants Mina to join him because she possesses the blood of Dracula, the most powerful vampire who ever lived, with which he seeks to make himself invincible so that he can conquer the earth. Mina is reluctant to let him die, but he is eventually killed by Luke. Like Mina, Quincey was a character in Bram Stoker's Dracula, being mentioned at the end of the novel and named after another character called Quincey Morris.
  • Alice (Laura Aikman): A 3000 year old harpy with a taste for human flesh and a predilection for preying on young men, Alice stalks her prey by taking the form of a beautiful young woman, which she uses to hunt Luke by posing as his girlfriend. When she so desires (or if forced by an external stimulus), she takes a more bestial form, becoming a winged beast that appears and behaves more like a dragon than the harpy of classical legend. She desires to kill Luke as revenge for one of his ancestors murdering her sisters, but Luke grudgingly dispatches her after learning her true nature.

Episode list

# Title Director Writer Guest cast Original air date Ratings (millions)[7]
1.01 "They Bite" Tom Harper Peter Tabern Mackenzie Crook, Thomas Arnold, Cloudia Swann 3 January 2009 (2009-01-03) 6.27
Luke Rutherford is an average teenager – until his dead father's best friend, Rupert Galvin, enters his life. Galvin has come to tell Luke that he is the great-grandson of the legendary Abraham Van Helsing. Luke's destiny is to fight against the supernatural entities swarming the earth. But half-life Gladiolus Thrip (Mackenzie Crook) has discovered Luke's secret as well. 
1.02 "The Whole Enchilada" Tom Harper Peter Tabern Richard Wilson, Tyler Anthony 10 January 2009 (2009-01-10) 5.58
Galvin thinks that a girl's disappearance is down to the ancient demon, Gilgamel, a fear confirmed by the priest Father Simeon (Richard Wilson). Gilgamel feasts on innocent souls, whilst masquerading as an angel. As more and more children disappear at the hands of the demon, including Ruby's younger brother, Galvin and Luke decide to summon the demon in order to defeat it. 
1.03 "Saving Grace" Matthew Evans Lucy Watkins Kevin McNally, Laura Pyper, Calvin Dean (II) 17 January 2009 (2009-01-17) 4.81
The return of Galvin's wife's murderer, Tobias Tibbs (Kevin McNally) sets the vampire hunter on a path of vengeance. This leads to Galvin breaking into Tibbs' lair and having to be rescued from a group of half-lives. Thirst for revenge still not quenched, he and Luke find themselves walking into a trap. Ruby finds herself in a race against time to defuse a bomb placed in the Stacks by Tibbs, and with the help of Mina, must find Luke and Galvin before they succumb to a watery fate. 
1.04 "Suckers" Tom Harper Lucy Watkins Ciaran McMenamin, Katrine de Candole, Peter G Reed, Eileen Essell [8] 24 January 2009 (2009-01-24) 4.22
Bad boy vampire Quincey (Ciaran McMenamin) is on the scene and causing havoc around London with his band of half-life misfits. Galvin and Luke must stop him, but there is more to Quincey than meets the eye. Luke discovers that Mina is a vampire, and that Quincey is in fact her own son. 
1.05 "Smitten" Matthew Evans Howard Overman Laura Aikman, Sara Stewart, Michael Walter [9] 31 January 2009 (2009-01-31) 4.04
A strange murder in the capital raises fears for Luke's safety, providing him with the opportunity to lie low and taste the life of an ordinary teenager. However, alarm bells ring when Galvin and Ruby suspect the adolescent's new love interest is an entity that can take the form of a female to stalk its prey. 
1.06 "Nothing Like Nebraska" Matthew Evans Peter Tabern Mackenzie Crook, Richard Wilson, Pauline McLynn, Thomas Arnold 7 February 2009 (2009-02-07) 3.42 (overnight)[10]
Luke becomes haunted by dreams about the car crash that killed his father and Galvin's connection to it. A visit to a psychic convinces him his godfather is not the man he seems and, with Gladiolus Thrip back on the scene and showing an unhealthy interest in Luke's past, the vampire-fighting duo look set to be torn apart. 


Demons debuted on ITV with 6.27 million viewers.[7] Episode 1 received mixed reviews. Andrew Billen gave the show 4 stars in The Times stating that whilst it had similarities with other previous TV series, the producers "certainly know how to steal with panache."[11] Sarah Dempster wrote in The Guardian that "The action is snappy and Philip Glenister (as ace vampire smiter Rupert Galvin) sizzles like a hot steak in his Milk Tray turtleneck, but this is thin soup for an audience weaned on the otherworldly warmth of Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer"[12] Charlie Brooker described the premiere episode as "a string of cutscenes from a quirky gothic videogame", stating that he was, "genuinely not sure if ITV are wheeling it out as a hit or sneaking it out as a clunker."[13] Meanwhile, Kim Newman wrote in The Times that: "Demons is a show I'd really like to like, but it needs to free itself from the templates it's adopted to develop its own personality. The elements that intrigue all come from Stoker's still-influential novel, while the encrustations derive from more recent glosses on the great Van Helsing tradition."[14] Kevin O'Sullivan gave Demons a more positive review describing it as, "diabolically daft...and wonderfully watchable."[15] The second episode saw a drop in the viewing figures, achieving 5.58 million, and ratings continued to fall, plunging to 4.22 for the fourth episode and 4.04 for the fifth.

Philip Glenister's American accent has raised questions as to why he chose that voice for the series, with speculation forming that it was to distance himself from his Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes character, Gene Hunt.[16] Speaking at the Ashes to Ashes press launch Glenister said that: "[Rupert] was written as a Texan originally and I thought bollocks to that - I'm not playing a Texan. They said I could play him as English, but I wanted to have the challenge of playing an American."[17]

On 26 February 2009, The Sun reported that Philip Glenister had said he would not return for another series which has put the future of the whole show in doubt.[18]

Demons premiered in the United States on January 2, 2010, on BBC America[19], airing at 9:00 pm ET/PT.[20]

On 19 June 2009 ITV confirmed it would not be making a second series of Demons.[21 ]


  1. ^ a b __exclusive_preview__mcm_expo.html "Demons Panel & Exclusive Preview @ MCM Expo". London MCM Expo. MCM Expo Group. 2008. __exclusive_preview__mcm_expo.html. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  2. ^ a b c "Demons: Brand new drama". 31 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-02.  
  3. ^ "Coming soon: Demons". ITV. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  4. ^ "Demons - Philip Glenister's Van Helsing Program on ITV1". 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  5. ^ Wilkes, Neil (2008-12-02). "2009 TV Preview: Demons". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  6. ^ Demons Debut Sets a Record for BBC America
  7. ^ a b Weekly Viewing Summary. See relevant week. BARB.
  8. ^ Demons - Suckers (Season 1 Episode 4). LocateTV. Retrieved on 2009-02-13.
  9. ^ Demons - Smitten (Season 1 Episode 5). LocateTV. Retrieved on 2009-02-13.
  10. ^ Television - News - 'Demons' ends on a series low. Digital Spy (2009-02-08). Retrieved on 2009-02-13.
  11. ^ Demons; The Antiques Rogue Show; Above Suspicion - Times Online. Retrieved on 2009-02-13.
  12. ^ Sarah Dempster on the weekend's TV | Culture. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-02-13.
  13. ^ Brooker, Charlie (2009-01-03). "Charlie Brooker's screen burn". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  14. ^ Newman, Kim (2009-01-03). "Philip Glenister stars in Demons". London: The Times. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  15. ^ O'Sullivan, Kevin (2009-01-04). "Demons is daft... but wonderfully watchable". The Mirror. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  16. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (2009-01-08). "'Demons' S01E01: 'They Bite'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2009-01-08.  
  17. ^ "Glenister explains 'Demons' accent choice". Digital Spy. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-08.  
  18. ^ "Demons Axed". The Sun. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2009-02-26.  
  19. ^ Demons Are Coming From BBC America
  20. ^ Demons - BBC America
  21. ^ "ITV deals killer blow to Demons". The Guardian. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  

External links



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